[Advaita-l] How many margas for mukti

Venkatraghavan S agnimile at gmail.com
Mon Sep 19 02:57:12 CDT 2016

There is only path and that is jnAna. Even that is not a path per se, as
there is no distance to be traversed, only wrong notions to be refuted with
right knowledge.

Karma is not an alternative to jnAna, but a preparatory step in the
journey. By karma both the ritualistic aspects (karma) as well as the
meditative aspects (upAsana) are included.

I noticed that another member mentioned karma yoga as a hybrid - to
clarify, this means doing karma giving up the desire for results as an
offering to the Lord and with a mindset to accept any outcome as His
blessing. Such a performance of karma serves to purify the organs of
knowledge to enable one to gain knowledge and enjoy it's benefit.

It should not be understood that what Shankara was talking about is any
different from what Krishna and VyasAchArya spoke in the Gita. It is very
much the same message.

In advaita, bhakti is the attitude with which one performs the karma. What
the target of bhakti is, depends on the maturity of the worshipper. It can
be an ishTa devata, vishvarUpa Ishvara or the self.

The Gita talks of four kinds of bhaktas - Arta, arthArthi, jijnAsu and
jnAni. The first worships God to protect them from distress, the second to
gain something materially, the third to gain self-knowledge and the last,
having gained knowledge, worships the self as God.

Bhakti is therefore not an alternative to karma, it is a key component for
the first three categories of bhakta. For the last category of jnAni
bhakta, bhakti is not allied to karma, but is sva-svarUpa anusandhAnam, it
is jnAna itself.


On 18 Sep 2016 6:57 p.m., "Kripa Shankar via Advaita-l" <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> ‎Namaste,
> Delighted to be part of the group. I have many doubts regarding Advaita
> not because I couldn't comprehend the philosophy taught by Adi
> Shankaracharya but because there are apparent contradictions in the current
> practice. Because of whatever dosha, there is ignorance in abundance in the
> form of samshaya. Hence my query.
> I had the fortune of studying the siddhanta in detail from a relatively
> old book called samyagdarshana (in Kannada lang). In it, there was an
> introduction by an eminent author Narasimha Sharma. He was a courtesan of
> the Mysore Maharaja and was associated with Sringeri Mutt. He writes that
> there are only two margas to mukti, one is jnana and the other is Karma.
> There is not a third one. Even Krishna says - Lokesmin Dvividha Nishta pura
> prokta mayanagha, jnana yogena sankhyanam karma yogena yoginam.
> But we have a third one which is quite popular these days and supposedly
> the easiest route! It is called the bhakti marga. Neither Shankara nor any
> other scriptures mention this. ‎What entails bhakti marga? Is it listening
> to carnatic (or hindustani) music on YouTube or anything more? What is the
> means and end goal of this marga? Or is it another departure from the
> tradition? Is it again, viewed as a Renaissance against the Vedic
> hierarchy? If it is, do you see it as an assault against the Vedas? Because
> bhakti marga emphasises more on regional language and Sanskrit is mostly
> neglected.
> Regards
> Kripa
> ----
> Vyasaya Vishnu roopaya Vyasa roopaya Vishnave
> Namo vai Brahma nidhaye Vasishtaya namo namaha
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